For Immediate Release: June 10, 2016 

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Selected as State Senior High School of the Year And National Senior High School Runner-Up For Sustainability Project  

The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project has notified MVironment Club of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School that the school has been selected Massachusetts Senior School of the Year and National Senior School Runner Up based on the club’s energy education project: Sustainability by Design.

On June 13, at 10:30 a.m. there will be an award ceremony and recognition of the club at the High School. The media is invited to attend.

Teacher Natalie Munn, who is an advisor to the Club, said, “This year, the MVironment Club wanted to focus on how to reduce energy use and waste.”

The club explored the value of locally grown food in terms of conserving energy resources, and we learned about the disadvantages of plastic in our environment. First, the group held an art competition to discourage the use of single-use plastic bottles.

The group next turned to learning about hydroponic growing systems. We held an elementary school workshop and a middle school workshop to build hydroponic systems.

At four local elementary schools, the group held a one-hour session after school to build small passive hydroponic systems and energy-efficient LED grow lamps that the group had designed and tested specifically for this workshop.

For the middle school workshop, the group researched hydroponics with the help of our Horticulture Teacher and Thimble Farm, a local hydroponics farm.

The club then ran a workshop at Thimble Farm for 24 middle school level students to be able to build a system to bring home to their respective schools.

Over 100 students participated, including the 3rd and 4th graders at the elementary schools, 5th-8th graders at the middle school level, and 10th through 12th graders at the high school level.

Munn said, “All lessons were designed by the high schoolers and were meant to be exciting engineering opportunities for the younger students, and the focus of the work was on the energy value of not having to ship food over long distances, and the pros of growing in a controlled environment like a greenhouse, in terms of energy savings, water conservation, etc. The MVironment Club very much hopes to promote the idea of the value of engineering for sustainability.”

NEED described the club’s work as “an outstanding energy education project” which it will post on its website. In addition to Natalie Munn, advisors to the club also include Anna Cotton and Dana Munn.

Deborah Shiflett-Fitton, education coordinator for the Compact said ” The Compact is pleased to have supported these well deserving students through the years and is very proud of them on their award for their efforts to educate their community to the importance of energy science and efficiency.

This is the fourth year in a row that the club has been recognized for its work.


About MVironment Club: The goals of the MVironment Club of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School are taking care of our environment, learning about local issues, and helping our community by engaging in service and educational projects. 

About National Energy Education Development Project:

Started in 1980, launched by a Congressional resolution spearheaded by Gerard Katz, a New York state physics teacher, the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education association dedicated to promoting a realistic understanding of the scientific, economic, and environmental impacts of energy so that students and teachers can make educated decisions. 

About Cape Light Compact:

Cape Light Compact is an intergovernmental organization consisting of the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact’s mission is to serve our 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply and green power options. For more information, visit